Honor Magic 2 and View 20 Magic UI 2.1 public beta update out in China, global rollout should follow

PSA: We do understand the recent Huawei ban episode must have raised firmware update-related concerns for you as a Huawei/Honor phone user. While the final picture is still unclear, at least for another 3 months, Google will be working with Huawei. That means, the scheduled updates in the coming 90 days (starting May 20th) should be releasing as planned. But what after that, well, that depends on Huawei’s fate in the US.

Designing in-house mobile chipset is a huge time and resource consuming job. Only a handful of hardware vendors have the required expertise to fabricate their own silicon, which includes two of the largest smartphone makers – Apple and Samsung.

Chip makers like MediaTek was forced to retire from the flagship segment due to fierce competition. We have seen other players, like Xiaomi, to bite the bullet and experiment with domestic SoCs without noticeable success.

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Mi 5c, the first phone to feature Xiaomi’s in-house Surge S1 SoC

In one of our older articles, we talked about the vertical integration model followed by smartphone makers to keep the manufacturing cost down. Besides Samsung or Xiaomi, Huawei is the perfect example of a practitioner of this model.

The HiSilicon brand of SoCs, especially the Kirin lineup, are being made entirely by Huawei R&D department. Huawei is using them extensively on Honor/Huawei branded devices, while slowing phasing out the dependencies on third party chipmakers like Qualcomm and MediaTek.

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Huawei P30 Pro, one of the recent Huawei flagships powered by Kirin 980 SoC

The massive popularity of Huawei devices in China helps them to build a sustainable model of using powerful SoCs across a wide range of phones. For example, the same flagship grade Kirin 980 SoC can be found under Honor View20 or Honor Magic 2 – both phones should be considered as upper midrangers in terms of MSRP.

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Honor View 20

Honor branded phones come with Magic UI onboard, a fork of Huawei’s Emotion UI (EMUI). Although the inline features are mostly identical between two, there are some regional changes. Moreover, the version numbering schemes are different.

A few days ago, Huawei/Honor rolled out a closed beta update of Magic UI 2.1 (based on EMUI 9.1) for Honor View20 and Magic 2, which brought the AR measurement functionality from P30 series.

[Setting]

Fix the problem that the default mobile data cannot be switched between the two cards. Fix the problem that the voice assistant can’t customize the skill. Fix the problem that the smart input method button vibration function is invalid.

[AR measurement]

Add the AR measurement function to measure the length and area of ​​the object. Volume, and body height

[Intelligent networking]

Intelligently optimizes high-quality network to provide you with a smoother online experience

[Smart Video]

Intelligent extraction of essence clips, automatic matching of special effects templates, one-click production of more exciting MV

[Screen]

Optimize the screen touch operation experience, make your touch screen operation smoother.

Meanwhile, an official Honor Product Maintenance guy has shared the complete roadmap of the Magic UI 2.1 rollout for Honor Magic2 (codename: tny) and View 20 (codename: pct).

  • March 28
    • Internal beta testing recruitment started
  • April 3
    •  Internal beta testing list finalized
      • Honor View 20: 9.0.1.16/161
      • Honor Magic 2: 9.0.1.106
  • April 16
  • April 19
    • Second list for internal beta testing
  • April 25
    • Pushed second beta
      • Honor View 20: 9.1.0.201/201
      • Honor Magic 2: 9.1.0.200
  • April 29
    • Public beta update

According to the above schedule, the open public beta builds of Magic 2.1 for both View20 and Magic 2 are now up for grabs. The changelog is as follows:

[Smart Video]

Intelligent extraction of essence clips, automatic matching of special effects templates, one-click production of more exciting MV.

[GPU Turbo 3.0]

Huawei GPU Turbo 3.0 graphics processing acceleration technology has added dozens of games to bring more experience to more games.

[ PC connection]

After the mobile phone establishes a connection with Huawei Matebook, it can realize the connection between the equipment, such as scrapbooking and screen sharing.

[Streamlined Settings ]

Streamline some redundant and complicated settings to provide you with a more concise, easy-to-understand and easy-to-operate setup.

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The GPU turbo feature is getting a lot of attractions from the mobile gaming communities due to it’s wide compatibility with popular titles, such as Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG).

According to the moderators, early adopters of Magic UI 2.1 should also experience features like AI OneKey Wake, AI video editing, ToF sensor based AR measurement (as discussed earlier) and smart key unlocking for cars.

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Magic UI 2.1 public beta changelog for Honor Magic 2

These updates should not delete user data, but users are suggested to backup their data in any case. The rumored ARK compiler support is not yet present in the changelog, but it should be available in the final build in the mid of May.

huwaei_ark_compiler
Image source: @MishaalRahman (Click/Tap to zoom)

Regarding the global rollout, Honor View 20 and Magic 2 users might expect the update to reach their phones sometimes in late-May or early-June. It is possible to cross-flash the Chinese updates, but that’s not recommended for everyone.

Do you like Magic UI/EMUI? Or prefer the Google’s version of stock Android? Let us know by commenting below.

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Kingshuk De

I came from a mixed background of Statistics and Computer Science. My research domains included embedded computer systems, mobile computing and delay tolerant networks in post-disaster scenarios. Apart from tinkering with gadgets or building hackintosh, I like to hop on various subreddits and forums like MyDigitalLife and XDA.